The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex, and the late Princess Diana are three different women united by the same destiny—marrying a prince of the United Kingdom.
And, as unique as they are as women, so are their style choices—but all three are icons in the fashion stratosphere in their own way. According to The Daily Express, the late Princess of Wales would “surely be proud” of both of her daughters-in-law—yes, for their style, but also for their incredible poise as they both undertake one of the most high-profile, scrutinized roles in the world. Kate, for her part, is a more traditional dresser; Meghan, more modern and contemporary. In addition to an obvious love of and sense of fashion, “the Duchess of Sussex also uses her wardrobe to highlight causes that are important to her,” the Express reports.
“With no palace dress code to hold her back, the Duchess has been able to really re-embrace her spectacular sense of style,” said Daena Borrowman, marketing manager at jewellerybox, to the Express. “She has a long history of backing feminist and female-led causes, long before her royal initiation. However, since becoming royal, she has been using her clothes and jewelry to make strong statements of support to smaller designers from around the world.”
Borrowman cites Meghan’s love of pointed Rothy’s ballet flats as a testament to her love of ethical fashion. (Rothy’s flats are made out of recycled materials.) Borrowman said that, when making public appearances, Meghan tends to stick to tailored, elegant, and minimalist outfits, with sleek heels and dainty jewelry. Borrowman said while as a working royal Meghan’s wardrobe was more formal; today, her wardrobe has returned to a more fashion-forward approach, much as it was when she was a Hollywood celebrity.
“Not much has changed about Meghan between her pre- and post-royal days,” Borrowman said. “Before she became a Duchess, Meghan’s outfits had bold prints, more color, and more daring necklines, but there wasn’t a fascinator in sight. However, photographs dating back to 2006 prove that she has always been confident in high heels and always fancied a well-cut dress in a strong silhouette.”
Though Borrowman calls Meghan and Kate “two very different women,” she noted “both can hold their own in the public spotlight,” and sometimes their style intersects—as in the case of elevated workday attire.
“Though the internet has often compared Meghan’s looks to the Duchess of Cambridge’s looks, both Duchesses have proved that the formula to a sensational workday outfit is centered around a strong coat combined with unpretentious wardrobe staples,” Borrowman said. “While Duchess Kate has had to be trained on her public image since stepping into the royal family, Duchess Meghan’s former career in show business and lifelong exposure to the media has, in a way, equipped her for royal life from the get-go.”
Diana was more like Kate in that she grew into her style over time. And what a sense of style it was, one that we still see in jewelry worn by both Kate and Meghan—Kate has been spotted wearing the Collingwood pearl earrings from Diana’s collection, the Express reports, in addition to her three-strand pearl bracelet. Meghan, for her part, wore Diana’s aquamarine ring for her wedding day in 2018, and often wears pieces of Diana’s like her butterfly earrings, a diamond tennis bracelet, and her Cartier tank watch.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the weekend editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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